Joy Colangelo

Artist's Bio

" I've tried every art form known to woman -- weaving and spinning, printmaking and stencil, watercolor and acrylic, knitting and cross-stitch, pencil, pen, marker, ink, oils, carving, clay, beading, upholstery, mosaic -- let's just if it is an art supple, I consumed it. But none of consumed me until fabric collage.

My life folds out by the decade. I don't recall having a conscious thought until I was 8, and it wasn't a pleasant one. Something along the lines of "what the heck?". After college where I studied Ancient Greek, I raced bicycles, making it to the Olympic Trials. In my thirties I was a landscaper; in my forties a mother and an Occupational Therapist; in my fifties a whistleblower and author; and in my sixties a refurbisher of two Victorian houses and airbnb advocate. If there is one continuity through all my incantations, it is that voice that still says "what the heck?". I am very often puzzled unless I'm doing art or riding my bicycle. So that leaves a lot of time to be puzzled...

At some point I came across the art of landscape quilting and, not wanting to take the time to sew the quilted stitches that I thought only served to pucker the play of light, I started gluing as if they were collages. And I was obsessed. My other tools, besides an unruly avalanche of fabric in my studio, are angst, doubt, Blood Marys, laughter, and will. When I step back from the collage, I'm struck with wonder. Every time. I don't know how many hours it takes to make one, but I usually say "20 years and 8 hours" when asked. I know that are best when made with batiks by women who have spent years with wax and dye and I know I have purchased the play of light from them. I know it takes forty dollar scissors. K know I'd like to have smaller fingers. And I know I will go through the same process with each project as I watch doubt morph into pride.

You see, and artist has to have that uncertain internal voice tapping on their shoulder saying, "you won't make sense of the world unless you create." And that voice has to be coupled with the voice of certainty tapping on the other shoulder saying, "you what to the universe is missing? A picture of a forest. And you're just the person to do it." Doubt taps on one shoulder nearly yelling at you, "but this is a mess, no one will like it, you don't even like it." Then both shoulders are tapping and the doubt is quieted, the ego softened to a whisper and you can just barely hear "that's not half bad." And that's when you glue. "

JC003 - Forest Floor, 13x10, fabric collage
JC003 - Forest Floor, 13x10, fabric collage
JC004 - Corn in the Storm, 10.5x9.5, fabric collage
JC004 - Corn in the Storm, 10.5x9.5, fabric collage
JC005 - Delta Rows, 11x10, fabric collage
JC005 - Delta Rows, 11x10, fabric collage
JC009 - Delta Cotton 2, 12x9, fabric collage
JC009 - Delta Cotton 2, 12x9, fabric collage
JC011 - Corn Rows 1, 14x10, fabric collage
JC011 - Corn Rows 1, 14x10, fabric collage
JC013 - Hidden Trees, 12x8, fabric collage
JC013 - Hidden Trees, 12x8, fabric collage
JC014 - Along the Stream, 12x8, fabric collage
JC014 - Along the Stream, 12x8, fabric collage
JC015 - Simple Shadows, 10x8, fabric collage
JC015 - Simple Shadows, 10x8, fabric collage
JC016 - Trees by a Lake, 10x8, fabric collage
JC016 - Trees by a Lake, 10x8, fabric collage
JC017 - Purple Rows, 12x10, fabric collage
JC017 - Purple Rows, 12x10, fabric collage
JC018 - Snow Shadows, 15x21, fabric collage
JC018 - Snow Shadows, 15x21, fabric collage
JC019 - Summer Purple Crop, 14x35, fabric collage
JC019 - Summer Purple Crop, 14x35, fabric collage
JC020 - Trees and Gold Grass, 23x17, fabric collage
JC020 - Trees and Gold Grass, 23x17, fabric collage
JC021 - Blue Stream, 14x14, fabric collage
JC021 - Blue Stream, 14x14, fabric collage